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Sugar House Journal

The Spooky Stories in Sugar House

Oct 06, 2016 15h26 ● By Natalie Mollinet

Staff at Sprauge Library sometimes hear footsteps when no one is there. (Natalie Mollinet/City Journals)

By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]

Sugar House has a lot of history, and with that comes a few haunted locations and legends too, according to ghost enthusiasts. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, spooky things have happened in some of our old buildings.  

Westminster College – Westminster College was founded in 1875 and has had thousands of students move through its doors, but it seems some students and faculty chose not to leave, even decades later. According to Linda Dunnings’ book, Spectors in Doorways: History and Hauntings of Utah, Foster Hall, which is located on the north side, is said to have many strange happenings. Professors have told students that their things have been moved around in the attic offices. Now what makes this strange is that two different professors from two different periods of time had the exact same things happen to them. Students have even seen things moves right in front of them. 

In the Gore Business School auditorium, the elevator in the back of the room likes to go from the first floor to the second floor all by itself. The doors open by themselves and there’s no one inside to push the buttons. According to Dunning’s book, the more you talk about the ghost, the more active it becomes. When the building was being dedicated, the president of the school was making a speech when the elevator doors opened behind him. 

Dilworth Elementary – Now before young ones get too scared to return to school, Dilworth is supposedly haunted by a nice ghost. According to Dunning’s book, Mary Jane Dilworth – who the school was named after – supposedly walks the hall at night. Mary Jane Dilworth was the first teacher in Utah and came across the plains with the first group of Mormon pioneers. She was asked by Brigham Young to start a school for children, and to also be a teacher. Dilworth died in Huntsville, Utah, on June 6, 1877 at the age of 45. Her grave is at the Huntsville cemetery where she is honored as the first teacher of Utah. 

Sprague Library – The library has a long history in Sugar House. It’s been in the neighborhood since 1914 and has seen its fair share of renovations.  The hauntings in the library include footsteps being heard when no one is there and electronics turning on and off. According to Dunning’s book, the legend that surrounds these hauntings is the story of a man who broke into the library to keep warm. He shattered a window and while getting through it, cut himself on glass and bled to death. 

Trolley Square – Even though Trolley Square isn’t in Sugar House, it still plays a part in Salt Lake history first as farm land, then fairgrounds, a railway company and finally, in 1972, a mall. According to Dunning’s book, there are several ghost stories that surrounding the mall, everything from things being moved around to wandering specters. There is said to be a ghost haunting The Old Spaghetti Factory, and another ghost wander the north building. This ghost is supposedly a workman who hangs out around the building, he wears coveralls and appears early in the morning. The legend goes that he loved his job so much and was so dedicated to it, that he hasn’t wanted to leave. 

Brigham Young Farm House at This Is The Place – Like many other homes at This Is The Place State Park, the Brigham Young Farm House was moved from the area down by Liberty Park up to the State Park in 1976. This house along with the other houses up at the park have a history of ghosts inhabiting them. One account comes from a friend who used to work at the park. One morning she had discovered that the horses has gotten loose and they needed a rope to get them back in their pasture. My friend was told to go to the farmhouse and get a rope that was in the basement of the home. When she arrived she discovered the house was locked and she couldn’t get in, that’s when she saw someone looking her straight through the window. My friend described her as wearing a red dress. My friend asked if she could be let in, and the woman walked towards one of the doors. My friend waited by the door but no one ever came to open it. 

Many people believe its Brigham Young’s 19th wife, Ann Eliza Webb Young, who haunts the Farm House and has been seen by visitors and workers in broad daylight. According to Dunning’s book, the staff said they see doorknobs rattle and hear footsteps, and doors open on their own. When they leave at night, people say they have seen a woman watching them from one of the upstairs windows. 

Whether or not you believe in hauntings and ghosts, it’s always fun to hear a ghost story. There are several stories from many of these places that can be found, some spooky and some downright crazy. Have a fun safe Halloween and remember, you might not be alone when you turn off the lights.